Hola! Como estan? Thank you for dropping by! Things are beginning to move a bit faster here in Newport, with more school groups coming from all different parts for our education programs. An element of the education programs that we provide at Yaquina Head is the “affective activity” that provides the schoolchildren some time to reflect on their visit, what they learned, and what message they’ll bring home with them. Think of it as a moment to meditate on the events that have happened before. For this entry, I’d like to reflect a little bit on the wonderful time I’ve spent with the staff of YHONA!
The intern team from Northwest Youth Corps and I have been helping with the education programs with good spirits. At first I was a bit anxious and nervous about helping out with the programs, considering that it has been some time since I’ve provided Spanish courses to elementary grade students on weekends. I focused on turning those anxious jitters into positive energy, to show my students how cool tide pools really are! It’s the excitement and enthusiasm that encourages them to discover more. Us interns work together as a team, a team that has gone by the name of “sea lemons.” Why? Because the Northwest Youth Corps wears bright yellow rain jackets as part of their uniform to stand out, just like the sea lemon nudibranch in the tide pools! Even though I do not have a yellow jacket myself, I’m happy to be a part of the “sea lemon” crew! Going through training, traveling to different educational facilities, and having lunch together has created a bond between the four of us.
That is why it was bittersweet to discover that one of our fellow “sea lemons” would be going back home, as she has found a position at one of the national parks! For me, working at a national park would be a dream I hope to achieve in the future, and even though it was sad for us to say farewell I felt a sense of happiness for her. Before she departed, we took the opportunity to celebrate her accomplishment! The education team spent some time together playing games, eating pizza and cake, watching an obscure episode from Nancy Drew that took place at the Yaquina Head Lighthouse, and having an “Oregon” bonfire on the banks of an estuary in Waldport! When moving to a new place where you feel like a stranger, it’s hard to find moments like these. I believe I found a special place of my own, here on the Oregon coast. I felt lucky to be in a place where folks don’t want you to feel like a stranger, and welcome you in. I was well aware that the internship would provide me with an experience and countless opportunities to learn new skills from working with an agency focused on the natural resources. These opportunities, from talking with park guests about the history and natural resources of Yaquina Head to walking around Yaquina Bay to conduct shorebird surveys for research, are wonderful and I value them as I know that they’ll be essential for my career path. The experience of getting together at a bonfire with the friends you’ve made at work is one of the best. I know she’ll find the same kindness and good company in her new position at the national park. Hasta luego, limon del mar!